Nathaniel Wood was days away from what was scheduled to be a UFC homecoming, but now he doesn’t have an opponent.
On Wednesday, his scheduled opponent Vince Morales withdrew due to illness leaving Wood (17-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) without a fight night foe. UFC Fight Night 204 takes place Saturday at 02 Arena in London and streams on ESPN+.
MMA reporter Al Zullino first reported the news, which was shortly thereafter confirmed in an announcement by Morales on his Instagram page, in which he described having a fever and sickness since he landed in England.
“PSA! Welp, that backfired,” Morales wrote. “Unfortunately, this is where my fight week ends. Right when I got off the plane, I broke a fever that won’t seem to come down and have been sick ever since. Breaks my heart, but with the circumstances, I can’t get cleared to start my cut, let alone compete. Sorry to everyone, especially to @theprospectmma and @ufc. Thanks for the support. Hoping to get this cleared and be booked again shortly.”
It is unclear whether or not the UFC already has a replacement lined up for Wood, but regardless, they have some volunteers. Wood has yet to comment publicly on the matter. Originally scheduled to fight Liudvik Sholinian, Morales’ pullout marks the second withdrawal of a Wood opponent on this card.
UFC bantamweight and England-born fighter Davey Grant raised his hand Wednesday on Twitter, as did Cage Warriors flyweight champion Sam Creasey. If the UFC is looking for someone already preparing for a fight, Cage Warriors 134 scheduled for Friday in London has one bantamweight bout: Aidan James (5-2) vs. Kingsley Crawford (7-3).
With the change, the UFC Fight Night 204 lineup now includes:
Alexander Volkov vs. Tom Aspinall
Arnold Allen vs. Dan Hooker
Paddy Pimblett vs. Kazula Vargas
Gunnar Nelson vs. Takashi Sato
Luana Carolina vs. Molly McCann
Jai Herbert vs. Ilia Topuria
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Mike Grundy
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Sergei Pavlovich
Paul Craig vs. Nikita Krylov
Jack Shore vs. Timur Valiev
Cory McKenna vs. Elise Reed
Nathaniel Wood vs. TBA
Cody Durden vs. Muhammad Mokaev
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